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Modi, Naidu, Pawar, Nitish — India’s political leaders get vaccinated as phase 2 begins

India began phase 2 of its immunisation programme Monday, vaccinating citizens above 60 years and those above 45 with comorbidities. Citizens can also get vaccinated at private hospitals.

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New Delhi: India kicked off its second phase of the national Covid-19 immunisation programme Monday, rolling out the vaccines to people above the age of 60 years and those above 45 years with comorbidities.

Day one saw a slew of top government officials and politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, receive their first of the two-shot vaccination.

The PM, who is 70 years old, was administered the homegrown Covaxin vaccine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi. Modi, who was seen wearing an Assamese gamucha, called it a “symbolic of blessings of women from Assam”.

“I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!” he tweeted after being vaccinated.

India’s Covid vaccine programme also includes Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot that is being produced in India by Serum Institute of India.

Here are some of the others who received the Covid-19 vaccination Monday.

Also read: From vaccine hesitancy to vaccine eagerness. In phase II, Modi govt has new challenges

Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar took his first dose of the vaccine in Patna. After being inoculated, he declared that the entire state will be able to avail the vaccine free of cost.

“Vaccination will be absolutely free in the entire Bihar state. Such facility will be made available even at private hospitals … it will be facilitated by the state government,” the 70-year-old told reporters.

The central government allowed private hospitals to charge people up to Rs 250 per vaccine dose.

Naveen Patnaik

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik was also among those who tweeted about their vaccine shot.

“Happy to share that I took my first dose of #COVID19 vaccine today. Grateful to our scientists, health workers for their race against time to deliver the vaccines to people.”

The 74-year-old Patnaik also appealed to others to get vaccinated.

Venkaiah Naidu

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu received his vaccine at the Government Medical College in Chennai.

“I will be taking the 2nd dose after 28 days. I appeal to all the eligible people to get themselves vaccinated proactively and join in the fight against novel coronavirus,” the 71-year-old tweeted saying.

The second dose of the vaccine needs to be taken after a four-week gap.

Sharad Pawar

Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar took his shot at the JJ Hospital in Mumbai.

“To strengthen the Vaccination Drive, I appeal to all those who are eligible to take vaccine and join the fight against coronavirus,” the 80-year-old similarly posted on Twitter.

S. Jaishankar

Minister of External Affairs Dr S. Jaishankar was among the central government officials to receive a vaccine shot. The 66-year-old was given a dose of Covaxin, which was developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.

Rekha Sharma

Chairperson for the National Commission for Women Rekha Sharma said she was “feeling perfectly fine” after taking the vaccine. “Thank you @PMOIndia @MoHFW_INDIA, the scientists behind it, Drs and Nurses for making it possible,” the 57-year-old tweeted.

Jitendra Singh

Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, received his vaccine shot at AIIMS.

In his tweet, the 64-year-old thanked AIIMS director, Randeep Guleria.

“I sincerely thank my medico colleagues led by Dr Randeep Guleria, whose illustrious father was my Examiner in Medicine. Also, thanks Dr Arti for your personal indulgence,” he tweeted.

Supriya Sule

Like her father Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party MP Supriya Sule was inoculated at JJ Hospital.

After receiving it, the 51-year-old tweeted that the “vaccine is safe” and urged others to get vaccinated.

Kalraj Mishra

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra was given the first dose at Raj Bhavan. “First dose of # COVID19Vaccine at Raj Bhavan, thanks scientists for successfully developing vaccine following all standards and prescribed procedure in a short time,” the 79-year-old said.

Also read: WHO chief lauds PM Modi for vaccine equity, hopes other countries follow India’s example


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